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Favorite Children’s Books

Do your kids or grandkids love it when you read to them? Our kids always did, and now we have the joy of reading to our grandkids. (Remember that picture a few weeks ago of me reading to Ryan and Avery from a seed catalog? 🙂 Here's a picture I've posted before — me reading to our children when all three could still fit on my lap.

picture of whatever

In this post I will share some of our all-time favorites, several recent books we've discovered, and for those who mostly just want the humor, a short list of children's books that never saw the light of day.

I'll start off with a couple books that we have loved for decades.

We all loved Harry the Dirty Dog, the story of a white dog with black spots. He hated baths and got so dirty that he became a black dog with white spots. I won't tell you the rest of the story in case you want to read it yourself. There are several other books in that series — Harry and the Lady Next Door, Harry by the Sea, and No Roses for Harry.

Harry Dirty Dog

Another favorite in our house is Never Tease a Weasel.

Never Tease a Weasel

A much-read, much-loved, lesser-known book is A House is a House for Me. It's a little hard for tiny children to listen to, but elementary aged children like the rhyme and the pictures.

House House Me

One of my personal favorites that our kids loved and our grandkids love is The Boy with a Drum. The poem in it is pleasant and soothing for its repetition. Here's a picture of our well-worn copy.

Boy Drum

Notice the price of 89¢. The book is out of print, but you can find your own well-worn (pre-read?) copy on Amazon for about $16.

A newer book that our grandchildren love is Llama Llama Red Pajama. There are other books in that series too that are just as beloved by young children.

Llama Llama

Our granddaughter Avery is especially fond of Over in the Meadow. It features a poem to help children learn to count.

Over Meadow

My wife Becka heard about a book that children enjoy hearing read, especially by their dads. It's called The Book with No Pictures.

Book No Pictures

I got Becka a book for Christmas, and believe it or not, she had not heard of it! It's a fun book called Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book. I think it might actually be more enjoyable for adults who are familiar with lots of Golden Books.

Everything Golden Book

I'll end this post with the names of a few children's books that didn't make it and that you'll never see in print.

DISCLAIMER: I've deleted the worst of them from the list, but still, don't read these if you know you are easily offended.

The Boy Who Died from Eating All His Vegetables

Clifford (the Big Red Dog) is Put Down

You Are Different and That's Bad

Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence

How to Become The Dominant Military Power In Your Elementary School

Mickey Mouse Meets the Taxidermist

Getting More Chocolate on Your Face

Whining, Kicking, and Crying to Get Your Own Way

Your Nightmares are Real

And one last one that I laugh at a little nervously....

Grandpa Gets a Casket

If you want to recommend your favorite children's book in the comments, I look forward to seeing what my readers' kids and grandkids like. I will probably comment very little myself since I've already told our favorites. I left out many good books, I know, and just told the ones we love best. I figure I will learn the names of many books that we did not even know existed. Those who read this post early on after it's published might want to check back to see what other readers have posted.


"Don't waste your life sinning to fight sin." — Drew Conley


Kids who love reading live happily ever after.

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19 Comments on “Favorite Children’s Books”

  1. #1 Donna Lawrence
    on Apr 22nd, 2015 at 8:25 am

    We loved “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.”

    A told B and B told C
    I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree …

  2. #2 Jonathan
    on Apr 22nd, 2015 at 8:31 am

    My kids like all books by Rosemary Wells.
    I’m surprised that my kids like the golden books more than me.

  3. #3 Mark
    on Apr 22nd, 2015 at 8:51 am

    I remember The Story of Ping, The Five Chinese Brothers, and Mike Mulligan’s Steam Shovel as classics

  4. #4 Shannah
    on Apr 22nd, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Don’t forget “There’s No Such Thing As a Dragon!”, “Stand back, Said the Elephant, I’m Going to Sneeze”, and “The Giant Jam Sandwich”!

  5. #5 LeAnne Solt
    on Apr 22nd, 2015 at 9:05 am

    We had Kevin Taylor’s Bible story book growing up … & “The Boy with the Drum … & Harry the Dirty Dog … Good memories! My favorite as a young child was Corduroy–& now my two little kids like that one read over & over, too.

  6. #6 Vikki
    on Apr 22nd, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Harry the Dirty Dog was one of our kids favorites also. They also loved “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and my son’s all time favorite is “Thump, Thump, Thump”. He loved it so much and I couldn’t find it anywhere and the library edition was like $60, so I traced all the pictures onto paper, wrote the story on the pages, laminated it with clear contact paper, punched holes in it and used yard to tie it together. It was one of his Christmas presents that year and turned out to be his favorite present. I’m not sure what happened to it. The funny thing was that his son found the same book in the school library and brought it home. Tim was elated to once again hear the story. His favorite line is still “Thump, thump, thump. who has my hairy toe?” Definitely a boys book.

  7. #7 Marty Nelson
    on Apr 22nd, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Don’t forget:

    If You Give a Moose a Muffin (series) and
    I’ll Love You Forever

  8. #8 Barbara H.
    on Apr 22nd, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    I remember reading Harry the Dirty Dog with the kids, but haven’t heard of the rest of these.

    Some favorites I read to my own kids when they were small were the Francis books, Curious George, Clifford, the Little Bear series by Else Holmelund Minark, the Jesse Bear series by Nancy White Carlstrom, Mike Mulligan, The Little Engine That Could, The Story of Ping, The Five Chinese Brothers, Robert McCloskey books (Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal), Dr. Seuss, P. D. Eastman, Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie by Peter Roop (one of my all-time favorites, about a girl who has to keep the lighthouse lamps burning when her father is delayed from getting back home due to a storm), The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy by Jane Thayer, the Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr books by Maj Lindman, and of course the Little Golden Books. One of their favorites was Gus the Bus, who goes frolicking off his usual route when his tires get overfilled.

    Your photo brings back such great memories. We had a lot of books but also went regularly to the library, and every afternoon after a library visit was spent like that – only sprawled out on the bed reading together (my 3 were spaced too far apart to all fit on my lap at once by the time the third one came).

  9. #9 Sharon B.
    on Apr 22nd, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a fun book about a town where all the food comes from the sky. My siblings and I used to laugh like crazy at the naive mishaps of Amelia Bedelia in the series by that name. Can’t forget about The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Eric Carl’s signature illustration talents. There are so many others that I can’t remember the titles of, but I hope to rediscover them someday. I’m starting to collect my old favorites and am enjoying re-reading them. Every now and then we would get mama to read I’ll Love You Forever. We had a copy in French as well as a copy in English. She would cry just as hard no matter what language she read it in…so we didn’t get to hear it very often.

  10. #10 Rachel C. Larson
    on Apr 22nd, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    We loved WALTER THE MOUSE. He lived with his family in the balcony of a church near the organ. He was a day-dreamer and his parents announced they were going to move — but Walter didn’t go with them. He has lots of adventures. As he grew the corduroys his Mom had made for him got shorter and shorter and there were these skinny little legs. My Mom always commented when we grew quickly that we “Walter the Mouse” pants or skirts.
    Loved Encyclopedia Britannica books like Annagalook, Eskimo Girl.
    Loved “B is for Betsy” and that series. Bunny Blue was another childhood favorite.

  11. #11 Meg Johnson
    on Apr 23rd, 2015 at 12:58 am

    One we really enjoy that is more recent is the story of Conejito, a folk story from Panama. It’s about a little bunny who goes to visit his auntie and meets a lion, a tiger and a fox. There’s lots of Spanish words so my French tongue has to twist around them but it’s really cute and readable.

  12. #12 Glenda Guthrie
    on Apr 23rd, 2015 at 7:46 am

    My husband loves to read to children “The Monster at the End of This Book.” He’ll knock on the child’s door, read the book to him, and then leave, but he leaves the book with the child. However, we can no longer find this book–even at garage sales. Any suggestions?

  13. #13 Sarah C
    on Apr 23rd, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    So many of these books bring back wonderful memories. One I enjoyed reading to our kids that hasn’t been mentioned yet is “The Grown-Up Day” by Jack Kent.

  14. #14 Nancy McGuire
    on Apr 24th, 2015 at 6:01 am

    Goodnight Moon illustrated by Clement Hurd and by Margaret Wise Brown, Elephant’s Child by Kipling, Tikki Tikki Tembo by Mosel, The Boxcar children series, Prydain Chronicle by Lloyd Alexander, Narnia Series by Lewis, and Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper were all favorites of our children. Memories of reading to our children are sweet.

  15. #15 Ray
    on Apr 24th, 2015 at 9:11 am

    For me it was “The Little Engine That Could”. That may have been contributed to the hobby I have been part of for many years (prior to children arriving).

    For my kids it was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Good Night Moon, and Amelia Bedelia.

  16. #16 A.H.
    on Apr 24th, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    When we were a little bit older, my mom would read the All-of-a-Kind Family series (Sydney Taylor) to us. Taylor is an excellent wordsmith and made me wish I could’ve lived in NYC back then. Everything I know about “modern” Jewish traditions came from those books.

    Also, Bears in the Night (Stan and Jan Berenstain) holds a special place in my heart because it was the first book I ever read on my own.

  17. #17 Margie Cline
    on Apr 28th, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Caroline and Her Friends was one of my all time favorites. It was about a little girl and her stuffed animal adventures. The pictures in it were precious. But I haven’t seen it in years. Some one even looked for it at a Chicago book show but couldn’t find it.

  18. #18 Nancy McGuire
    on Apr 29th, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Caroline and Her Friends can be found at this site and there are books on eBay: http://www.loganberrybooks.com/books/authors/pierre-probst.htm The title is: Golden Treasury of Caroline and Her Friends. Golden Press, 1961

  19. #19 Rob
    on Apr 29th, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Thanks, Nancy! I hope Margie sees your comment.